Why Leonie Skyforce-Clarke?
"I’m not a mystical person. At all. So it is rather ironic that Leonie Skyforce-Clarke’s name, the ‘80s clues, all of it - came to me…in.a.dream.
But even with such a strong, albeit peculiar head-start for a children’s mystery story, life got busy. At the time I was working 50+hour weeks, had a mother who became ill and a partner working at a start-up (life pro tip: don’t work at a start-up). I barely had time to breathe let alone write.
And then, came 2020. In Australia, the year started with hellish bushfires which enveloped the continent. The air became thick with ash, and the sun (I’d like to think in passive protest) became a permanent shade of lurid green. My world which had previously been filled with beach walks and new born baby playdates suddenly became small and smoky. Then of course, the pandemic hit and overnight my already little world became locked-down.
And so - I turned to Leonie Skyforce-Clarke. Between smoke and spike-protein, I still couldn’t breathe. But I could write.
Thus began my near-clandestine writing frenzy. As soon as my baby would go down for a nap, I’d rush to the kitchen table and write. For once in my life I couldn’t procrastinate. I had to write for dear life, before the cries came. Under such conditions I knocked out a first draft of Leonie Skyforce-Clarke and the Mystery of the Green Case in three weeks. This was followed by months and months of editing and rewriting. Once ‘done’, I didn’t read the finished draft for over a year - something I highly recommend.
I’ve found the traditional publishing experience to be somewhat demotivating. It can often feel as though (unless you’re a massive Tik Tok sensation) no one really wants to know you’re alive - let alone read your manuscript.
There was also part of me that wanted to own my book fully. I didn’t want anyone dumbing down my prose, I wanted to get the right book cover and I had an interest in understanding the publishing process end-to-end.
And although I’m still very much on the journey, here are a few things I’ve learnt about self-publishing thus far:
Where to next?
I’m expecting to get stuck into a new instalment of LeonieSkyforce-Clarke as soon as I get the current book published as a Paperback. Then I’ll finally have time to sleep(and hopefully dream) again!
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